Boston Child Injury Lawyer
The City of Boston is big and bustling. From the South End to the Common, hundreds of thousands of people enjoy its rich cultural heritage, eat at its restaurants, shop in its stores, work in its offices and labs, and relax in its parks every day.
Children constitute a huge part of Boston’s everyday life. They visit Harbor tourist attractions. They attend Boston public and private schools. They live and play in neighborhoods throughout the Hub.
Unfortunately, like kids everywhere, children in Boston are prone to injuries. Sometimes kids get hurt in Boston because an adult failed to take reasonable steps to keep them safe. In those cases, the injured children and their parents have the right to compensation.
Finkelstein & Partners can help. We represent Bostonians, including children, who have suffered injuries in preventable accidents and incidents. Contact us today to learn how we can help after a child gets hurt in circumstances an adult could and should have prevented.
Who We Are
We are Finkelstein & Partners, a law firm that for more than 60 years has represented clients—including many children and their parents—in personal injury actions. Over the decades, we have earned a reputation for taking and winning some of the most complex and challenging personal injury cases in the Northeast.
We’re proud to represent individuals in Boston who need our help getting the money they deserve for the injuries and losses they have suffered. We have achieved significant results for child clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, from pedestrian accidents to product liability claims.
Common Causes of Boston Child Injuries
According to recent data from the CDC, about 12,000 children die as a result of preventable accidents every year, and more than 9 million suffer non-fatal injuries.
Children get hurt in ways almost too numerous to count. Here are just some common scenarios in which the children our firm represents sustain their injuries:
According to the CDC, falls are the most common cause of child injuries. As everyone knows, children are adventurous. They like to climb on trees, playground equipment, ladders, or anything else they see. They run and play without the same degree of regard for safety as adults might observe.
Lots of kids fall and get hurt. Some of those falls are just part of growing up. They’re not really anyone’s fault, they just happen because of kids being kids.
But sometimes, those falls definitely should not happen. Instead, they occur because an adult did not take reasonable steps to prevent a child from suffering foreseeable harm. At Finkelstein & Partners, we help children and families recover compensation for those preventable, should-not-have-happened falls.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Children, like adults, get hurt in a wide range of motor vehicle accidents in and around Boston, from crashes on the Mass Pike to collisions on neighborhood streets in Dorchester. Unlike adults, however, those accidents are rarely the children’s fault. No matter if a child gets struck by a car in the street, suffers injuries as a passenger in a car that crashes, or sustains trauma on a school bus that overturns, the harm they suffer is almost always the result of an adult’s failure to exercise reasonable care.
At Finkelstein & Partners, we routinely represent children who have suffered severe injuries in motor vehicle accidents. We fight to make sure those most innocent crash victims receive full compensation for the trauma they suffer.
Drownings and Near-Drownings
Wherever you find a body of water in Boston, be it a public or private pool, the Charles River, the Harbor, or the Boston Common Frog Pond, you’ll also find kids potentially at risk for drowning or near-drowning. Children need supervision near the water because many can’t swim, and even those who can don’t always appreciate the dangers lurking below the surface.
According to the CDC, drowning and near-drowning are an especially common cause of severe and fatal injury for younger children, although tragedy can strike a child of any age. The Finkelstein & Partners team works tirelessly to seek justice for children and families victimized by a lack of safety personnel, equipment, or protocols on or around Boston pools, ponds, and other water bodies.
Poisoning, Toxic Exposures, and Defective Products
Children throughout Boston suffer illness and injury because they come into contact with dangerous products of all sorts. Curious toddlers ingest hazardous chemicals contained in household cleaners. School-age children breathe in toxic fumes and dust contained in antiquated building materials like lead paint and asbestos. And teens use dangerous, defective products like vape pens and power tools that malfunction and cause them serious, even fatal injuries.
Manufacturers of industrial and consumer products owe the public a duty not to sell dangerous, defective goods. Finkelstein & Partners represents Boston children and families in legal actions seeking compensation from those manufacturers when their products cause harm to innocent kids.
Sexual Abuse and Other Violent Crime
Children in Boston and its suburbs fall victim daily to crimes committed by their peers and by adults. One pervasive, tragic crime involves the sexual abuse of children by trusted adults—including clergy, youth group leaders, and teachers—who prey on the children left in their care. Children also suffer severe harm in violent incidents at and away from home, often involving the use of firearms.
No child should ever endure the pain and loss of innocence caused by criminal conduct. Finkelstein & Partners fights to make sure children receive compensation from perpetrators of crime, as well as from individuals and institutions that should have done more to protect them from senseless, preventable harm.
Boston’s Fire Prevention Code requires property owners and occupants to take simple, sensible measures to protect building occupants—especially children—from the risk of a fire. Unfortunately, not all of them follow the rules, especially when Code enforcement falls short of what’s necessary to keep Boston citizens safe.
The team at Finkelstein & Partners works to make sure that children who suffer burns and other injuries in preventable fires get paid what they deserve for the extreme pain and difficulty they have endured through no fault of their own.
Boston-area children participate in a wide range of organized and recreational sports, from ice hockey to gymnastics to baseball. They and their parents understand that some sports injuries come with the territory. Sprains, bruises, and even the occasional broken bone aren’t unusual.
But some sports injuries should never happen. Coaches, trainers, and other adults who supervise youth sports have important obligations to make sure kids practice and play safely, stay hydrated, and train within their abilities. Children can suffer severe harm when those adults neglect their duties. Finkelstein & Partners holds individuals, schools, and sports organizations accountable for putting young athletes at risk of getting hurt in practice or competition.
Common Child Injuries We Help With
At Finkelstein & Partners, we represent children who have suffered a wide range of injuries, and who face numerous challenges in their lives.
We can help those children and their parents secure the compensation they need to confront the difficulty caused by injuries such as:
- Brain injuries that leave children in permanent states of semi-consciousness, or which burden them with lifelong physical, emotional, or cognitive impairments.
- Spinal cord injuries that rob children of the ability to move their limbs, confine them to wheelchairs permanently, and impose enormous lifetime costs.
- Burns that require extensive treatment at a local burn center, put children at risk for deadly infections, and leave behind permanent scars that often cause significant emotional suffering.
- Broken bones and orthopedic injuries, some so severe that they result in permanent disability, and all of which put kids in agonizing pain.
- Acute and chronic illness, often caused by toxic exposures, including respiratory diseases, developmental disorders, and pediatric cancers.
- Heatstroke and overexertion injuries, which happen most often when adults fail to supervise youth athletes responsibly and can result in tragedy.
- Lacerations, contusions, and abrasions—trauma that goes beyond the typical bumps-and-bruises of childhood play—that happen because of unsafe equipment and lax supervision of children on playgrounds, sports fields, and school buildings.
This is not a complete list, of course. There’s virtually no end to the types of injuries kids can suffer when adults put them in unsafe situations. At Finkelstein & Partners, no matter what type of injury a Boston-area child suffers, our team fights to make sure the at-fault parties pay for putting kids in harm’s way.
Potential Damages for a Boston Child Injury
Under Massachusetts law, anyone who unreasonably endangers a child, either through negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct, will typically face legal liability for the harm the child suffers.
By taking legal action against that at-fault party with the help of an attorney from Finkelstein & Partners, an injured child and the child’s parents can often recover damages that include:
- Medical expenses related to treating the child’s injury and any resulting health complications, including costs of hospitalization, long-term care, medication, and medical equipment.
- Lost wages, most typically incurred by parents who miss work to care for an injured child.
- Diminished earning capacity, which happens when a child’s injury impairs the child’s long-term prospects for earning a living.
- Non-medical expenses the child or child’s family incur as a result of the child’s injury, which may include the cost of renovating a home to accommodate a child’s disability, or of hiring tutors or other services to help a child manage an injury.
- Pain and suffering endured by the child, which includes both physical discomfort and the emotional trauma of sustaining an injury and living with its consequences, such as the inability to participate in activities, carrying permanent scars, or other life challenges a child should never have had to endure.
The child injury lawyers at Finkelstein & Partners work closely with injured children and their parents to understand the full range of harm an injury has caused to a child. Our mission is to make sure that any legal action we take on a child’s behalf seeks compensation that meets the child’s and family’s current and future financial needs. Child injuries can have lasting impacts, and we work tirelessly to make sure the damages our clients receive reflect the long-term consequences of an injury.
Unique Features of Boston Child Injury Cases
The team at Finkelstein & Partners is well-versed in addressing the unique challenges that Boston child injury cases can present. Here are some of the ways that child injury cases differ from cases involving injuries to adults, and how we can help manage them.
Children Are Vulnerable Participants in the Legal Process
It’s rare for anyone to enjoy sitting on a witness stand and giving testimony about an injury. But for children, that experience can be deeply traumatic.
One important aspect of every child injury case we handle at Finkelstein & Partners involves protecting our child client from the stresses and challenges of the litigation process. We’re parents ourselves, and we fight to protect our young clients as if they were our own kids. We understand the Massachusetts laws and court procedures that give children special protections, and we put them to work for our clients whenever possible to shield them from emotional upset.
Most Children Lack Legal Capacity to Act for Themselves
By law and as a practical matter, most children in Boston who suffer injuries cannot make their own decisions about when, whether, and how to take legal action seeking compensation for their injuries. Many injured children, of course, are simply too young to understand the decisions involved in filing a lawsuit or pursuing an insurance claim. Even teens who may have the maturity to comprehend those issues frequently lack the legal right to act on their own behalf.
As a result, injured children usually need an adult to act on their behalf in pursuing legal action for compensation. In most cases, the child’s parent or legal guardian fulfills that role. Sometimes, however, the particular facts of the case require a neutral third party, called a guardian ad litem, to serve as the child’s representative separate and apart from the child’s parents. At Finkelstein & Partners, we have a firm understanding of the rules and protocols for making sure our child clients have the adult representation they need to assert their rights.
Settlements May Require Court Approval and Special Oversight
Because children usually need an adult to act on their behalf, child injury cases may involve a potential conflict of interest when it comes time to settle them. It’s often important that the funds paid to settle a child injury case get used for the child’s benefit, and not for unrelated purposes.
Accordingly, Massachusetts law permits courts to review and approve any settlement of a child injury case to make sure it’s done with the child’s best interests in mind. The court in those cases may order special oversight of how the funds are disbursed to the child and child’s family, such as through the appointment of a trustee for the funds or by putting restrictions on when and how the child or child’s family can use the funds.
The Finkelstein & Partners team has years of experience structuring and helping children and families manage these arrangements to ensure that children benefit from the compensation.
Boston Child Injury FAQs
Your first concern should be comforting your child and evaluating the extent of their injuries. If your child fell from a seesaw or slide, encourage them to remain still. Contact 911 and ask to have emergency responders at the scene.
They will evaluate your child and may transport them to a hospital or emergency room for further evaluation and possible treatment. Do not refuse this care as it could be essential to your child’s health.
If a car hit your child, remove them to a safe location. While it is generally preferable not to move them for fear of inflicting additional pain or injury, you do not want to risk a second impact. Do not move your child if they are having difficulty breathing, you see signs of potentially broken bones, or if they are unconscious.
Contact the police immediately. Ask someone nearby to help you obtain information from the driver who struck your child, nearby witnesses, and take photographs of the accident scene. This information may be helpful later.
You should monitor your child for signs of head trauma, including concussion.
The typical symptoms of a concussion may include:
- Inability to recall the accident
- Complaints of a headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Balance issues
Continually monitor your child after an injury either at a playground or when a vehicle strikes them while they walk or bike.
This will depend mainly on where the accident occurred and what type of accident was involved. Because Massachusetts rules require any driver involved in an accident to stop at the scene, someone probably notified law enforcement.
However, if a Boston playground accident injured your child, find out who is responsible for the playground. Children can suffer an injury at a school playground, which would mean you should inform the school department. If your child was injured at one of the more than 200 playgrounds, athletic fields, or city parks controlled by Boston, report the incident to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.
Those responsible for maintaining playgrounds must ensure that the equipment is safe. If your child’s injury resulted from a defect in the equipment in the playground, seek immediate legal advice from a skilled child injury attorney so you know how to proceed and understand your legal rights.
Broken swings, improperly grounded monkey bars, slides with damaged steps, and other equipment defects can result in serious injuries. Your child may require weeks or months of treatment following an accident at a playground.
Never bear the cost of treatment for these injuries. There is also a good chance that you will either have to take time off from work or hire someone to care for your child while you work. You will hurt your finances.
Drivers on Boston roadways owe a duty of care to all pedestrians. When a car strikes an adult pedestrian, they must prove certain elements of negligence. However, when a child is a victim, the burden of proof changes. All drivers must watch for children who are less likely to be aware of traffic signals. Drivers must always control their vehicles and have a duty to watch for pedestrians in the roadway.
Speak with a Boston car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Avoid speaking with the driver’s insurance company until you speak to an attorney and understand your legal options and what steps will protect your child’s interests.
Filing a claim on behalf of a child is challenging. Because a minor cannot legally commit to a contract, an insurance settlement must be agreed to by a parent or guardian. However, the courts also look at any settlement offers made when the victim is a minor.
Massachusetts General Law – Part III, Title II, Chapter 231, Section 140C1/2 provides the courts with the means to review all settlements made on behalf of a minor child when the settlement exceeds $10,000. This protects the child’s interests and further requires the parent to agree that the settlement proceeds will benefit the child. The court may recommend setting up a trust for the child or other investment vehicles to ensure proper use of the proceeds of a settlement.
When filing a claim for a minor child, the damages you can seek are similar to those an adult may recover. Damage may be available to you as a parent and your child.
On behalf of your child, an injury claim may include:
- Any medical care not covered by your health insurance
- Pain and suffering
- Counseling which your child may require following an injury
- Compensation for scarring or disfigurement
As a parent, you may also be able to claim compensation for your losses as well.
Some of these losses may include:
- Lost wages – If you have to miss work to care for your child, you may be entitled to lost wages during their recovery.
- Medical bills – If any of your child’s medical care costs require copayments or are not otherwise covered, you may be able to claim those payments as part of a final settlement.
- Related expenses – A parent can’t remain out of work to care for a child in all instances. The court will determine what other expenses to include in a final settlement.
Always work closely with an attorney when your child is injured so you have a full understanding of your rights, the rights of your child, and your legal options.
You should not deal directly with the insurance company if you have already requested legal help. If you have not already spoken with an attorney, you should contact an attorney before you respond to any information requests from the insurer.
The reasons for this are complicated. Insurance companies are not interested in offering a victim any more compensation than is required. This is true whether the victim is a child or an adult. Insurance company adjusters have orders from their employer: Settle the matter as quickly as possible for as little money as possible.
When you work with a skilled child injury lawyer, they will fight for the maximum amount of compensation your child deserves.
Yes. When you are working with a Boston child injury lawyer, you can feel confident that someone will be advocating for your child. When a child suffers an injury due to a pedestrian-car accident or in a fall from defective playground equipment, their injuries could cause them problems for the rest of their lives.
These injuries can affect your child’s future:
- Head injuries – A head injury your child received from poor playground equipment maintenance or hitting the pavement following a pedestrian accident can mean they have to spend the rest of their life with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These devastating injuries can result in diminished learning capacity and other issues.
- Broken bones – Broken bones in children are often more complicated because children are still growing, their bones are softer, and a break may also damage their growth plates. While the bones may heal faster, the treatment plan can grow painful and complex.
An attorney who has dealt with child injury cases has a basic understanding of the issues that can hurt your child’s future.
If the insurance company for the responsible party denies your child’s injury claim, you may file a lawsuit to recover damages on their behalf. Consider your legal options with a lawyer’s help when doing this.
Speak with a Boston child injury lawyer and find out what options you have. Once you understand the legal options, you can decide what works best for your child and your family.
We work on a contingency fee. Initially, you may consult our attorneys for free to discuss your situation. During the initial consultation, we will ask you specific questions about the accident to evaluate your case’s strength.
Once an attorney has sufficient information, they will advise you of your possible legal options.
Once you decide to hire a lawyer, they will present you with a fee agreement. The fee agreement will explain your obligations and the lawyer’s commitment to you.
Typically, you can expect:
- Free consultation – We do not charge you to discuss your case. There is also no obligation to hire an attorney who provides a consultation. Any information you share with a lawyer during a consultation is confidential.
- Contingency fee – A contingency fee is a method of paying your lawyer based on their ability to secure a settlement in your case. In most cases, the fees for negotiating and settling with insurers will be one fee, while the fees associated with going to court will typically be higher. However, you will not need to pay the legal fees associated with your case unless your case resolves successfully.
- Additional fees – Regardless of your case’s outcome, you may need to pay small charges for medical records, mail fees, document preparation fees, and more, even when an attorney cannot obtain a settlement.
Discuss all fees with a lawyer before hiring them to represent your child.
Experienced Child Injury Lawyers in Boston
Did your child suffer injuries in a preventable accident or in circumstances in which an adult should have stepped in to protect your child’s safety? If so, contact Finkelstein & Partners in Boston today at (877) 472-3061 for a free consultation about your and your child’s rights.